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Savage support for sex charge players.

Byline: JOHN-PAUL FORD ROJAS in Cartagena,Spain

DAILY Post columnist Robbie Savage has given his support to Leicester players Paul Dickov, Frank Sinclair and Keith Gillespie who are facing sexual assault charges in Spain.

And Savage, who spent five season at the club, is hoping the trio will soon return to England to help the Foxes in their battle to stay in the Barclaycard Premiership.

Dickov,Sinclair and Gillespie spent the weekend in jail in Murcia although fresh submissions have been made by their legal team asking for their release.

Savage,now with Birmingham, said: ``When I heard about Leicester I was shocked,especially by the nature of the allegations. I know the players very well and my thoughts are with all the families.

``Hopefully,it can all be cleared up as soon as possible because you don't want to see professional footballers in trouble.''

Savage admitted that footballers,as a price for their privileged lifestyle,had a special responsibility as role models but insisted that the bad press they occasionally attract is often down to jealousy.

He said: ``Football is the biggest sport in the world and kids look at us on and off the pitch and they copy us so we have to set an example to the public.''

Meanwhile,a girl friend of one of the footballers visited her boyfriend in the jail in Murcia, south east Spain, while another jetted into the country yesterday afternoon.

Luis Ruiperez, a leading lawyer in Cartagena, said submissions were handed into court on Saturday asking for the Leicester City players to be released.

Mr Ruiperez, whose daughter Ana is representing the footballers, said it was now for the judge in their case to decide whether they would be allowed to leave custody.

It is thought that a judge in Cartagena will review all the latest developments in the case today although it is unlikely that the players themselves will attend any hearing.

The three were taken to prison on Friday following a court hearing over allegations that they attacked three women at the five-star Hyatt Regency Hotel in the exclusive resort of La Manga where they were staying.

The women,believed to be Africans, were about to board a flight for Germany when they made the accusations on Tuesday at Alicante Airport,but have been persuaded to stay in Spain by police investigating the case.

Ms Ruiperez and Keith Gillespie's girlfriend,Kelly Maguire, spent two and a half hours on a visit to the prison but said nothing to reporters as they left.

Frank Sinclair's girl friend is also thought to have flown into Spain.

The stars are believed to be locked up with rapists,paedophiles and other sex offenders.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2004
Words:450
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